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GarrickW

Using Cellular Automata to create heightmaps

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Hey there!

So I've now got the hang of C++ and SFML, and am starting to wade into OpenGL programming.

One of my current projects is to create a procedural world generation program. I'm not using Perlin Noise, and I don't want to (partly for the challenge, partly to experiment and see how things could be done in other ways, and partly because I want high levels of control, conceptually, over the finished world that Perlin doesn't seem to offer easily). For the moment, most of the program is based on modifying cells in a Voronoi diagram in accordance to certain rules, and the results aren't all that bad:

[media]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-L_AcHx38-2Y/Tkj-G4fe1fI/AAAAAAAAAGM/USkHHpDOoQE/s1600/19-8.jpg[/media]

But I the code is somewhat bloated, and I want to trim the fat.

I've been hearing a lot about using cellular automata to do terrain generation, but I've googled a lot and most of it is either highly technical stuff I can't read, or else simple things that only differentiate between land and water, or with similar limitations. I want to take a look at what others have done in terms of cellular automata being used to model pseudo-naturalistic heightmaps, i.e. mountain ranges, rivers, erosion, valleys, etc. So far, I've not found much to go on.

Can anyone point me in an interesting direction?

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[quote name='Sappharos' timestamp='1313667342' post='4850716']
[quote name='ryan20fun' timestamp='1313657615' post='4850671']
what about useing a Digitel Elevation Map ?
[/quote]

Isn't that the same thing as a heightmap?
[/quote]

I looked it up, but that's essentially the conclusion I came to, as well. Since DEMs seem to be of greatest currency in the scientific community for mapping the Earth and other planets, I thought the intention might have been to take existing maps of places on Earth and adapt those, but that's not what I'm looking for, as I want full control over the kind of landscapes that appear, and I want to be able to create several and pick favorites, rather than be forced to find appropriate DEMs from Earth for every different attempt.

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[quote name='Saldan' timestamp='1313667612' post='4850718']
I looked it up, but that's essentially the conclusion I came to, as well. Since DEMs seem to be of greatest currency in the scientific community for mapping the Earth and other planets, I thought the intention might have been to take existing maps of places on Earth and adapt those, but that's not what I'm looking for, as I want full control over the kind of landscapes that appear, and I want to be able to create several and pick favorites, rather than be forced to find appropriate DEMs from Earth for every different attempt.
[/quote]
I agree, using data taken from real-world terrain is anything but adaptable. Well I can't offer any expert advice on this, but I'll be watching this thread very closely because it's one of my main interests.

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[quote name='Sappharos' timestamp='1313669356' post='4850722']
[quote name='Saldan' timestamp='1313667612' post='4850718']
I looked it up, but that's essentially the conclusion I came to, as well. Since DEMs seem to be of greatest currency in the scientific community for mapping the Earth and other planets, I thought the intention might have been to take existing maps of places on Earth and adapt those, but that's not what I'm looking for, as I want full control over the kind of landscapes that appear, and I want to be able to create several and pick favorites, rather than be forced to find appropriate DEMs from Earth for every different attempt.
[/quote]
I agree, using data taken from real-world terrain is anything but adaptable. Well I can't offer any expert advice on this, but I'll be watching this thread very closely because it's one of my main interests.
[/quote]

that reminds me, i saw a post somewhere talking about getting the height data out of Google Earth, unfortunetly i dont have the link to that one.

<a href="http://www.ogre3d.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=48404">Og

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[quote name='Sappharos' timestamp='1313669356' post='4850722']
[quote name='Saldan' timestamp='1313667612' post='4850718']
I looked it up, but that's essentially the conclusion I came to, as well. Since DEMs seem to be of greatest currency in the scientific community for mapping the Earth and other planets, I thought the intention might have been to take existing maps of places on Earth and adapt those, but that's not what I'm looking for, as I want full control over the kind of landscapes that appear, and I want to be able to create several and pick favorites, rather than be forced to find appropriate DEMs from Earth for every different attempt.
[/quote]
I agree, using data taken from real-world terrain is anything but adaptable. Well I can't offer any expert advice on this, but I'll be watching this thread very closely because it's one of my main interests.
[/quote]

that reminds me, i saw a post somewhere talking about getting the height data out of Google Earth, unfortunetly i dont have the link to that one.

[url="http://www.ogre3d.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=48404"]Ogre Forums • View topic - Where to get height maps (real geo information):[/url] ( i think this is the right one, looks like it has the right links and looks fimilier :) )

one interesting thing to look at from the above link
[quote]be sure to check out the USGS and their free online store of maps.[/quote]

and heres one other
[url="http://www.gamma.net.nz/content/getting-elevation-data-out-google-earth"]Getting Elevation Data Out of Google Earth[/url]

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